Penn Emblem Sets Up Shop at the Interplex
After housing their business for more than 40 years at the same location on Dutton Street in Philadelphia, Korman Commercial Properties welcomes Penn Emblem to the Neshaminy Interplex. We sat down with their Senior VP of Sales & Business Development, Jon Joseph, to discuss their 70-plus year history, the reasons for their recent move, and what the future has in store for Penn Emblem’s products.
Neshaminy Interplex: Thank you for making time for us today. Let’s dive right in and discuss your decision to relocate to the Interplex after decades in Philadelphia.
Jon Joseph: Sure. My wife Randi and I live on the Main Line. We sold our existing building to a neighboring company and thought about moving the office closer to our home. We started looking, but finding the right space was proving difficult. A family-owned business since 1947, we were concerned that we would lose many of our long term loyal employees if the office moved too far from “the old neighborhood.” Some of our employees go back 20, 30 years – so taking a team approach, we decided to find office space “close to home.” We looked in a myriad of areas; Ft. Washington, Bucks County, but once we visited the Interplex we knew we found our home. Penn Emblem didn’t lose an employee due to the move.
NI: Can you talk about your transition to this location?
Jon: Truthfully, we weren’t clear on how the Interplex would serve our varied needs and larger staff. I initially toured the Kor Center A building with Randi, our IT Director, Rob Cholodofsky and our HR Manager, Karen Weber, to fine tune ideas. Nancy and Arnie were great – you could feel their passion. They showed us different plans for how we could best use the space. We had four months to get the building ready for move In. Honestly, the process was seamless. They made it easy. Arnie promised he never misses a deadline, and he didn’t. And no one else would have given us the TLC that the Korman staff did.
NI: Any specifics about your building or this business park that you find helps your staff?
Jon: We’ve only been here a couple of months, but it’s been great. The culture is positive. Everything is so convenient and accessible, and we like interacting with other tenants. Even in the short time we’ve been here I’ve already noticed our people using the walking paths. They are also enjoying the Fooda options. We as well had a relationship with the Radisson Hotel, so customers and vendors now have an easier ride to our corporate offices.
Our old building was our corporate office, and attached was our silkscreen manufacturing plant. Korman offered a clean new opportunity to move into today’s collaborative open work space environment. This allows departments to work closer together, with a focus on the team concept. I think it makes for a better model going forward as we continue to grow.
NI: With the future in your sights, how about talking a little Penn Emblem history?
Jon: Absolutely. The company was launched 77 years ago by my wife’s grandfather, first as an embroidery business that made lace for the bridal and tablecloth industry. We started getting requests for names and logos that could be worn on the outside of work uniforms. Our first big customer was Cintas the Uniform Professionals, requesting all styles of emblems for the auto industry in Detroit and gas station employees that wore work uniforms. We quickly became experts in this area. We invented, then patented a way for screen print emblems to hold up to the laundry process via a heat-sealed backing we called Penn Bond™and our owner licensed it to every single embroidery company in the industry. From there, we just flourished into all different types of decoration.
NI: So Penn Emblem has been a leader in the industry since Its inception, in Image, Identity and Decoration for all types of apparel and uniforms.
Jon: Right. We’ve continued to innovate and find new ways to best serve our customers’ needs. Today, we have a large manufacturing facility in Mira Loma, California as well as Santa Ana, Mexico – we employ more than 500 Penn team members. Our office here serves as the company HQ, overseeing customer service, supply chain, marketing, including social media, HR and finance. We’re manufacturing over 200,000 emblems each day; 80% of that for the uniform rental industry and the rest in direct-to-user sales like soccer clubs, firemen, and the sporting industry. We generally turn orders around in a matter of days. Moreover, we’ve been able to embrace other technologies like hot application transfers, dye-sublimation printing, and even a customized self-print system for our customers that need speed-to-market.
NI: It seems Penn Emblem is invested in the needs of each customer.
Jon: Absolutely. We have always understood that the logo is a prized possession for a customer – it sells their image and uniquely identifies them. We have never lost sight of this. Penn Emblem is a 3rd generation women owned business, a member of the WBENC, and our son Tyler just joined us, bringing a 4th generation into the business. We operate with a family-mindset and we treat our staff like our family. Our employees are our most valuable asset, and in turn, we try to help build community and encourage collaboration for the success of everyone here.
This is one of the things that helped make our decision to move to the Neshaminy Interplex. Knowing that Korman is also a family-run, generational business gives us a shared viewpoint. We like knowing we have a common thread and that you treat our requests with a degree of importance. I was impressed last month at Fall Fest when Arnie asked ‘is there anything else we can do for you?’ This type of excellent service has been evident since our first meeting here.
NI: Fall Fest provides an opportunity for our management team to speak personally with our tenants in a more relaxed setting.
Jon: We noticed, and we loved attending it. I commented to Karen Weber (Penn Emblem’s HR manager) that no other landlord anywhere does anything like these events. We were very impressed with the entire set-up, and look forward to the next one.
To learn more about Penn Emblem call 215.632.7800 or visit: www.pennemblem.com, Penn Emblem, Kor Center A, 2577 Interplex Drive, Suite A.
Nancy L. Fox, Director of Leasing and Marketing, Korman Commercial Properties, The Neshaminy Interplex , Two Neshaminy Interplex, Suite 305, Trevose, PA 19053, 215-244-5175, , www.kormancommercial.com.